[linux-elitists] Hacker ethic, brogrammer ethic

Don Marti dmarti at zgp.org
Sun Jul 6 14:29:51 PDT 2014

begin Teh Entar-Nick quotation of Sun, Jul 06, 2014 at 07:53:11PM +0000:
> Don Marti:
> > So how does "extend and subvert technology" turn into "go fast and
> > break people"?
> > 
> > Hacking: copyleft or neutral licensing (promote generic
> >          ubiquitous code as a complement to valuable people)
> > 
> > Brogramming: aggressive ToS/CLAs (contributors are a
> >              generic out-group; value is in control of the hub of the
> >              network)
> And yet, you're seeing plenty of tech bros using Open Source to wring as
> much unpaid labour out of people as they can.  It's probably one of the
> more irritating and impossible-to-deflect criticisms of the free
> software movement: what does this do to the power dynamic between
> capital and labour?  How does this not flood the markets with
> more easily exploitable programmers, and harm everyone?

And other workers too, as more and more places pick
up on the "like Open Source, but for..." line, but
use ToS/CLA arrangements in place of conventional

For a good example of that, see the Geoff
Shullenberger series on Coursera...

  Coursera’s GTC, conversely, involves an attempt to
  decouple a form of skilled labor from the expectation
  of payment on the part of the laborer by redefining
  it as something similar to social networks (the
  benefit of doing it is that you will join a
  “community of committed individuals [and] be given
  access to a private translator’s portal.” 


> > Brogramming: subvert the dominant paradigm by monetizing existing
> > common space.
> I would propose this razor: 
>     Anyone who is vocal against copyleft licences (such as Brett Glass)
>     is more likely a brogrammer than a hacker.

Unless the project maintainers take some other steps
to ensure the valuable people/generic codebase model.
The PostgreSQL project seems to do code commons well
without copyleft (possibly informed by some failures
of proprietary derived works in the past.)

Don Marti                    
dmarti at zgp.org

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